Monday, February 7, 2011

A Valentine for You - Crayons and Pansies and Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery

Pansies, a traditional favorite with Brazilian dimensional embroidery artists, take on a brand new look with this vintage Millefiori Valentine's Day design (meaning I designed and stitched it a long, long time ago -- enough to make me a "vintage stitcher").
I'm pretty sure I still have the Millefiori pattern and instructions available for this design, but I'll tell you what I did and you can try it yourself if you like.
       First, I found a pretty picture of some pansies - it might have been from a greeting card. Then I went in search of my fabric crayons. And I needed tracing paper.
I colored the pansies onto the tracing paper, using a light touch for pastel areas. (When you iron fabric crayon tracings onto fabric, they will always transfer "brighter". Keep in mind that they will also give a "reverse" image.) Next, I ironed the colored pattern onto a simple pansy design that was already screen printed onto my cream poplin fabric.

As you can see from the embroidery, these simple pansies are stitched with cast-on stitches plus an added row of detached buttonhole stitches in each cast-on loop. Pansies always have a yellow center and you can add a bead (a pretty little yellow heart-shaped bead would be nice!) or a French or colonial knot.

     This is also a nice way to "dress up" your Brazilian embroidery designs!

If you'd like to make one for your own personal use, you have my permission to copy/paste that image above onto paper and transfer it to fabric.

I think this design would also make a really pretty little fabric postcard. Incidentally, fabric postcards make excellent substitute doodle cloths for our experimental stitches -- and floss tails. This is my floss tail collection:

It started out as a jar of animal crackers.  I re-purposed or up-purposed it (I'm not sure what the difference is. It's recycled.) 
       OK, you can stop laughing now!  I've been stitching for a LONG time ...and you can see that I don't throw things away very often, so I have a LOT of floss. I thought about using the floss tails sandwiched between two layers of water soluble Solvy and machine stitching over to make "fabric" -- might even do that one of these days.  In the meantime, I have found other uses for my rayon floss leftovers. This little project started out as a tomato pincushion...
The hat is "freeform" Brazilian embroidery. I drew a line around the middle of the pincushion and started attaching floss tails, just made a square knot to anchor them. The little plastic sunglasses are leftovers from somewhere or other. The tomato is upended (stem side down) and rests on a crystal goblet.

     Can you tell that I have a lot of fun playing with my floss?

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